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Airbnb chief: Hosts should lower their rates

Airbnb Co-Founder Brian Chesky has said hosts who provide cheaper deals are the ones who rake in the most money.

During an interview with Bloomberg, Chesky advised hosts to assess their rates compared to hotels in their local area.

“We want prices to move and to be more competitive vis-à-vis a hotels – that is really important. When our hosts provide better deals, they tend to make more money,” said Chesky.

Rather predictably, the comments irked some hosts across social media, with many calling on Chesky to reduce Airbnb commission, while others said this was another reason to prioritise direct bookings.

Chesky said 2024 would be a year of ‘perfecting our core service’.

“Our system was designed for a much smaller company which grew like crazy. To use a precise metaphor, it’s kind of like we never fully built the foundation. Like, we had a house and it had four pillars when we needed 10. The bigger you are, the more effort it takes to increase quality. And that’s what we’ve been really focused on.”

Chesky continued: “We need to get our house in order. We need to make sure the listings are great, we’re providing great customer service and we’re affordable. And I’ve told our team that we can get back to creating new and exciting things once we’ve fixed that foundation.”

With hosts getting used to higher occupancy and rates after pandemic restrictions were lifted, it remains to be seen whether they will comply with Chesky’s wishes and become more competitive.

Are you an Airbnb host or property manager? How have you found 2023 so far – and will you be reducing your rates?

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